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23.7.12

How to Collect & Save Bachelor's Button Seeds

Since my interest in gardening lead to me collecting and saving seeds that I can distribute through my seed library I've been focusing more and more on old fashioned flowers. The "old lady" garden flowers I would have turned my nose up at a few years ago are now my obsession. Seeds for these flowers are easy to buy, trade, and most importantly: they're easy to save and share with new gardeners. One such flower is Bachelor's Button. Collecting and saving Bachelor's Button seeds is really easy.

Saving and collecting bachelor button seeds


Centaurea cyanus is an annual that gets about 3' tall, and blooms come in blue, white, pink, red, and purple. It is also commonly refered to as Cornflower, and Butonniere flower. When Bachelor's Button flowers fade they don't leave behind an obvious seed pod, but rather a seed head. If you don't know how to collect Bachelor's Button seeds you may think that the flower wasn't pollinated. But if you pluck the flower's seed head pictured above you'll get a few seeds for your collection.

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Take the seed head in your fingers and gently break it apart by rolling it in the palm of your hand, or between your fingers, to reveal the seeds inside. Bachelor's Button seeds look like little bullets (or badminton birdies) with a tuft of hair at the blunt end. These are the seed you're looking for and want to save. Once you've collected all the seeds you need you can set them on a paper plate to dry for a couple of days and then store the seeds in a paper envelope or plastic seed baggie.

How to Collect Bachelor's Button/Cornflower Seeds Video




Bachelor's Buttons is incredibly easy to grow in gardens in a variety of soils-they're downright weedy most of the time, but not too aggressive in my garden. My biggest problem with growing this annual in my garden is that I forget what the foliage looks like in the spring and I end up weeding the plants.


17 comments:

  1. I used to grow those in my rose bed - and the great thing is, they reseed.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, their reseeding habit is what makes them a favorite.

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  2. Mine reseed everywhere! I have to pull out some. I save the seeds for friends. And, if I spot a pink one, I try to save those to plant in different places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of wish I had your problem. LOL. Although, mine probably don't reseed like crazy because I grow them in a spot that's not ideal for them (under a tree with not enough water) so the plants are not as prolific bloomers as they could be.

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  3. The flowers are really pretty, and great photos (and video) too. This is a really helpful post, thanks for sharing it; "little bullets" or "badminton birdies", Lol, great descriptions! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I don't know why it is, but I cannot ever describe a seed without thinking they look like a miniature version of something else. See the nasturtium and 4 o' clock post for more examples. :0)

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    2. Great! Thank you. Cool video too. The nasturtium seeds look abit like peas, would you know if they're edible (like the leaves and flowers), or is that just asking for trouble. Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by 4 o-clock post?

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    3. Gaia,

      The seeds are edible, but usually when pickled. They're often referred to as "poor man's capers" when prepared that way. I meant the post here on how to collect 4 O'clock seeds. I try to archive all the seed saving posts in the seed saving tab at the top of the page.

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  4. This could be one to try in the fall here...so gorgeous (the blue ones)!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the blue ones are particularly pretty.

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  5. Love 'em! I've definitely got a thing for blue flowers - not unlike your thing for black ones. We have Centaurea montana, but I really like the annual bachelor's buttons too. It's cool seeing the grandma flowers re-emerging in popularity right along with heirloom veggies. It's great too, that you can save seeds from so many of those older annual varieties. That's definitely not the case with many of the new introductions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to wonder if the older flowers would have gotten popular if not for the popularity of heirloom veggies. Whatever the reason for their popularity now, I'm glad they're being appreciated by more people.

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  6. Such a gorgeous colour of blue!! Great vid x

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  7. Great blue colour. We have the magenta coloured ones which self seed easily.

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  8. B.B.s everywhere. Years ago someone must have scattered seeds down by our rural roadway and now every year rhere are more and more. What's not to like??

    ReplyDelete
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